Monday, May 01 2017
“Love the sinner and hate the sin.” This statement invokes a lot of emotion. It stems from the idea that as believers we should love compassionately regardless of the person’s sin. This sounds so spiritual but in reality I believe it would be best for us not to know the sin. What am I talking about? Well, I am referring to the idea that if we did not know the sin of the people we were ministering to I believe we as believers would be much more effective. Let me give you an example. If you knew someone at your office was gay and you believe that the Bible speaks against this lifestyle where would you focus your energy with this person? You would most likely try to find ways to present this person how their choice to be gay is not Biblical. Now, imagine you had no idea they were gay but you knew they were not a believer. You would approach this person with the love of Christ in an effort to see them come to know the Lord; this is all predicated on the fact that you would want to see them come to Christ. Some people would go out of their way to even avoid this person because of their choice. Either way with the knowledge of the sin this now becomes the filter by which we view that person. It is instinctive for us to begin to identify people by their worst choices. This is magnified when the sin that occurs happens to overlap our worlds. Do we truly believe this that we are saying? Do we truly love the people regardless of their actions? What right do they have to receive the forgiveness of God much less my forgiveness? See, within this old adage the star of our attention is the sin and not the sinner. If we are truly honoring the Lord then Christ will be at the center of attention. Christ is needed both to forgive and be forgiven. Only by the power of the Holy Spirit can we forgive and only by the power of the Holy Spirit are we forgiven. This old adage of “Love the sinner and hate the sin” is our cry when we mess up but when someone messes up and we are caught up in it our cry is “God condemn the sin by punishing the sinner.” Christ alone lives by this adage, as He loves the sinner so much that He died on a cross that we may be so separated from sin that it would never have a grip on us. Christ death on the cross was the true expression of “Love the sinner and hate the sin.” Christ command to us is to love Him and love each other! Let us be reminded of the words of Jesus, “I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). While within our flesh this is impossible through the power and equipping of the Holy Spirit this is not only possible but also freeing!